I spent many of my formative years waiting tables in Los Angeles, surviving on tips as I worked as an actor. At the time I was lucky enough to wait in places that were nice and where people usually knew how to tip, so I made a pretty good living. However, once you get past the “15% at a restaurant” rule, it seems that many people have no idea just how much of a gratuity to leave for people who help you throughout the day. So, here are some basics the next time you are in question… and don’t be stingy! If you get great service somewhere, up the tip and reward the person. I guarantee you will get even better service the next time!
THE GUY GUYDE TO TIPPING
20% is standard for good service. 15% for adequate. Even for horrible service, you still shouldn’t stiff the waiter. Many times, tips are split between busboys, food runners, bartenders, etc. Plus, you should always include your drinks as part of your total tab. Also, if I eat somewhere that is less expensive I almost always leave a few bucks – maybe three or four on a $15 check. A great diner server usually works just as hard (if not harder) for their money!
Depending on the bar, the old tried and true saying “a buck a beer” should work. If you’re ordering cocktails, $2 (per drink) and the change will ensure that you’ll be served promptly again.
15% of total bill (unless there’s a delivery charge, then no tip is required).
15% of the total bill is standard.
Same as the hair stylist – 15% (20% if the massage is over an hour).
HOTEL HO– USEKEEPING
$2 to $10 a night, depending on the price of the room and how messy you leave it.
$2 a bag for each bag brought up to your room or held in storage.
15% of the total fare, more if they actually help you with bags.
$2-$5 when they bring back your car.
Asking for directions? On the house. Great seats for the show or a booth at THE restaurant in town? Ten bucks is a great way to say thanks.
No tip needed.
Yep, you should tip them. If you had a good day at the tables (up to $250 in winnings), a $25 chip is certainly not out of the norm. Win more than that? Be happy and feel generous with 10% of your take.